Pavel Datsyuk obviously has been an offensive catalyst for the Red Wings, when he is in the lineup.
Unfortunately for Detroit, the captain of Team Russia in Sochi hasn't played since the Winter Classic on January 1. However, in the 17 games leading up to that outdoor event, Datsyuk wasn't exactly stellar. Sure, he put up eight goals and six assists in those 17 contests, but he also held an unsightly minus-13 rating over that stretch.
This begs the question: Has Datsyuk lost any of the defensive abilities that helped him to win three straight Selke trophies in the past decade?
Not a chance.
The 35-year-old center has just 19 giveaways, compared to 50 takeaways, and Datsyuk still can be trusted to cover players among the best in the NHL.
Analysis: Due to no fault of his own, Datsyuk has been out of the lineup for the past month. Unfortunately, his absence has hindered the Red Wings' attempts to climb higher in the playoff picture, leaving them sitting in the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Otherwise, Datsyuk has been fairly infallible in his efforts in all three zones of play.